Articles

Built on a Concrete Foundation

By Gloria Vaquera Photos by TMG

Even at a young age, Ernesto Rubio understood that he would have to work hard to achieve his goals. He wanted to be was financially set and able to provide for his family all that he didn’t have growing up. For that, he knew he had to be motivated and have big dreams.

His mustache hadn’t even begun to come in yet, but he needed a job to help his mom support his younger brothers and little sister. Somehow, filling in the peach fuzz above his lip with an eyeliner seemed like a clever idea. He had been offered a job as a taxi driver but needed a driver’s license to secure it. Those were much simpler times and, surprisingly, filling in his mustache worked and he was able to get his driver’s license. So Ernesto’s first official job as a grown-up was as a taxi driver at the age of 15.

He is the oldest of five children in the Rubio household and was born and raised in Chihuahua, Mexico. And fortunately for him, he has never shied away from rolling up his sleeves and getting to work. He came to the United States when he was 25 years old and has been working towards that goal since then. After working in different industries, from taxi driving to manufacturing and even alarm system installation, construction was where he found his niche. 

Today, he is the owner of one company and a partner in a second. The first, Extreme Insulation, specializes in spray foam insulation that provides an air seal, resulting in increased energy efficiency for commercial and residential projects. When the polyurethane insulation is sprayed, it expands and cures to a light-weight finish that seals cracks, seams and penetrations.  

“I have had this business for the past 10 years. And, as I have since day one, I will take the steps necessary to complete any job properly without rushing. My word to my clients is my bond.” explains Ernesto. 

His second business is in concrete. This came about when Ernesto met Ivan Torres twelve years ago and the two quickly became friends, calling one another “partner” when they paired up as teammates in pool tournaments. At the time, Ivan was working laying concrete for another contractor. “I was making good money with my employer at the time, but when things started to change, I knew I needed to move on,” said Ivan. 

Ivan was born in California but was raised in Jimenez, Chihuahua. He came back to the United States as an adult and has been here in Las Cruces ever since. He has more than 25 years of experience working with concrete and with Ernesto’s experience and contacts in the construction industry, it was only a matter of time before they started brainstorming about a partnership. They discovered early on that their life experiences complemented each other well. The agreement was that Ernesto would take care of business development, customer relations and sales while Ivan would focus his efforts on scheduling, training and supervising the work of their employees. 

It took several years of discussion, planning and hard work before their company, R&T Concrete Works, got off the ground. When it did, it grew quickly. Although it was initially challenging to get contractors to give Ernesto work related to concrete–because they knew him as an insulation installer not a concrete expert–they finally warmed up to the idea of the new venture. They started by taking on small concrete jobs like driveways and sidewalks and then it was an entire home here and there. 

Today, eight years later, R&T Concrete Works is a full service concrete subcontractor offering a variety of concrete and cement services for residential as well as commercial projects including concrete construction, slabs flatwork, pits, concrete repair as well as decorative stamped concrete for driveways and patios. From scheduling and budgeting to formwork design and installation, to concrete pours and finishing, R&T provides quality concrete to general contractors and homeowners alike. They have the man power to work on any size project and are experts at working with any budget and meeting even the tightest deadlines. 

R&T has grown exponentially in the past year, and when asked why they believe that has happened, both Ernesto and Ivan had the same response: “Because we are good at what we do,” they agreed. Aside from their experience in the industry and their highly-skilled team, they are known to be responsive subcontractors who work closely with the client to ensure the delivery of a professional final product.

“I know concrete,” says Ivan. “I am meticulous about my work and I pride myself on doing a clean job every time. I make sure that our employees have the same mentality and work ethic.”

“I told Ivan from the begining that I wanted a solid company. I didn’t want a company that did mediocre concrete work. I wanted our company to be the best, the one contractors and homeowners think of first. I’m out making sure everyone knows who we are and I do that because I am confident in our work,” explains Ernesto. 

That work ethic and commitment to doing the job right has earned R&T Concrete Works an incomparable reputation in the community. However, in comparison to what they are striving for, the company still has some growing to do. No doubt, their strong will to make this company succeed through their hard work and integrity will get them there sooner than later. 

Spring 2018

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